Big news, everyone. SAT is going digital! The College Board declared that soon, all of its renowned exams would be completely digital. SAT test takers will administer the exam on a computer starting in spring 2024 across America and spring 2023 for overseas students. The test will still measure the same topics, be graded on a scale of 1600, and be given in testing facilities or classrooms, according to the College Board. The new digital test, however, will be adaptable, reduced from three to two hours, and allow pupils to take it on any laptop or tablet, including their own. What does all of this mean, then?
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There is not much difference (in the US) for current seniors, juniors, or sophomores. The high school class of 2025 will be the first to take the new SAT as it won’t be released until spring 2024. The National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test® for the Class of 2025 will be the first digital PSAT®, according to the College Board, and will be made available in autumn 2023. Juniors and sophomores in the US who are now preparing for the college application process will take the SAT under the current administration.
You may be aware that many schools and institutions no longer require students to take tests as a result of COVID. In December 2021, Harvard made headlines by announcing that they would be extending their test-optional policy for an additional four years. The length of time was unusual about Harvard’s announcement. In November 2021, Stanford also disclosed an extension of its policy of one year. Around the same time, the California State University and University of California systems both declared a permanent test-free policy. Additionally, the Iowa Board of Regents recently declared that tests will no longer be required at any of Iowa’s three state colleges. Additionally, even though the test-optional policy may continue to spread, the trajectory doesn’t appear to be following a straight line. For fall 2021 admissions, 87% of schools were test-optional, but that figure fell to 78% for fall 2022 admissions, according to The Princeton Review Summer 2021 College Administrator Survey. It’s crucial to keep in mind that test-optional does not equate to test-blind. In reality, every one of the 300 institutions throughout the country that we questioned stated that they would still take applicants’ standardized test scores into account if they were presented.
Here is what we currently know about the new testing structure and procedures.
In essence, each student will receive a personalized SAT based on their performance. The second section’s questions will become more difficult as they perform better in the first, but they will also be worth more points overall. (There is still no penalty for guessing, but it is in your best interest to answer that first section as exactly as you can in order to optimize your chances on the second.)
We are aware that testing fatigue exists and that it is challenging to concentrate for three hours. Your wishes have been granted, since the new test will last approximately two hours. The lengthy preamble and exam setup, which are presently completed by an in-person SAT monitor, will take up less time overall. The redesigned exam will also have shorter reading portions and more straightforward questions.
In actuality, the test’s “no calculator” section is being eliminated. And every pupil will have access to a graphic calculator that is already built in (though they can still bring their own).
If you don’t have a computer of your own, don’t worry. On test days, students will have the option of using the devices provided at the testing site or bringing their own laptops or tablets.